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White Paper: Effect of Panther Teeth on Vertical Jump Performance Effect of Panther Teeth on Vertical Jump Performance

Dr. Paul N. Whitehead, CSCS*D | The University of Alabama in Huntsville

February 7, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The noticeable trend of PT2 resulting in a higher jump height, greater force production, and more power output following a two-mile treadmill bout may yield some practical significance
  • PT2 resulted in better results post-treadmill, with values increasing for all three variables on the second set of jumps. This could indicate that the use of two Panther Teeth devices may help mitigate footwear-related performance variables following exercise and be more effective at minimizing energy leakage.
  • The PT2 configuration allowed for lace tension to be maintained in both the middle and top portion of the laces, while PT1 only secured the laces in one location. The lack of tension maintenance in a second location may have led to an uneven fit following the two-mile treadmill bout, resulting in the decline seen in all three variables for PT1 due to excessive energy leakage.
  • For tasks that involve jumping and cutting maneuvers over a period of time, there may be some value in incorporating PT2 into footwear lacing patterns. Although not supported by a statistically significant difference, the average increase in jump height of more than a quarter-of-an-inch may indicate a benefit that can be provided in practical applications.
  • Maintenance of lace tension throughout an activity may help mitigate performance declines related to the foot-shoe interaction’s role in energy leakage.
  • When compared to CON, the PT2 condition saw noticeably higher values for jump height, force production and power output
  • Changes in jump height were positive only during PT2. While it can be easily thought that PT2 may result in a performance benefit, the more appropriate interpretation may be that PT2 yield a more consistent lace tension over the course of the two-mile treadmill bout. Force production and power output went up in all three conditions, with PT2 yielding the greatest increase post-treadmill. So, if the idea that the repetitive motion and impacts during a gait cycle would lower the tension in the laces, increase the risk of energy leakage, and subsequently compromise the foot-shoe interaction is true, an argument can be made that the maintenance of lace tension with PT2 helped mitigate the declines that would result from a lessening of lace tension.

INTRODUCTION

Panther Teeth are devices designed to give users the ability to customize lace tension while also preventing laces from loosening during the duration of an activity or workout. Over the course of dynamic tasks, laces of athletic footwear may become loosened, and as a result the shoe will not fit as snugly. This alteration of fit could result in heel slippage, delayed force production, and a reduction in overall performance due to energy leakage. If properly affixed, the Panther Teeth devices should allow for dynamic activity to have minimal impact on the tension of laces, help maintain proper fit of footwear throughout an activity, and minimize any performance losses that may be attributable to energy leakage.

PURPOSE

To test the effectiveness of Panther Teeth on sport performance by examining jump metrics with three separate conditions: standard lacing (CON), one Panther Teeth device per shoe (PT1), and two Panther Teeth devices per shoe (PT2). 

SPECIFIC AIMS & HYPOTHESIS

It was our aim to show that if jump performance could be maintained or enhanced with PT1 or PT2 when compared to CON, the designed purpose of the Panther Teeth devices to minimize energy leakage could be corroborated. We hypothesized that jump performance, force production, and power output would be higher in PT1 and PT2 when compared to CON.

METHODS

Subjects recruited were physically active adults between the ages of 18-30. Subjects reported for three sessions, all of which consisted of the same warm-up, assessments, and exercise duration. Upon arrival, subjects were asked to lace their shoes, warm-up on a stationary bicycle, perform a standardized dynamic stretching routine, then perform three maximal effort akimbo countermovement jumps on our force plates. Following the jumps, subjects were asked to perform a two-mile walk/jog on a treadmill at a self-selected pace. The pace subjects used for the first session was replicated for the latter two sessions. Following the treadmill bout, participants were asked to perform three maximal effort akimbo countermovement jumps once again. The three separate visits consisted of CON, PT1 (Figure 1), and PT2 (Figure 2) conditions being utilized. Condition order was randomized and counter-balanced across all participants to minimize any learning or training effect that might have been present. The difference in jump performance between post-treadmill jumps and pre-treadmill jumps were analyzed using a univariate analysis of variance (p < 0.05).

RESULTS

Seven males (age = 23.9 ± 3.6; height = 181.7 ± 8.3; weight 81.7 ± 13.6) and 14 females (age = 20.1 ± 1.4; height = 166.1 ± 5.1; weight 67.7 ± 12.8) were recruited for this study. There was no statistically significant difference found for changes in jump height across the three conditions (p = .338). Following the treadmill run, jump height (Figure 3) was relatively unchanged for CON (-.006 ± .975 inches). During PT1 sessions, jump height went down following the treadmill run (-.225 ± 1.278 inches). However, during PT2, average jump height increased following the treadmill run (.278 ± 1.019 inches). When similar analyses were conducted for peak relative propulsive force (p = .759) and peak relative propulsive power (p = .298), no statistically significant differences were found. Although force production (Figure 4) and power output (Figure 5) increased post-treadmill for all three conditions, the trends for both force (CON = 5.216 ± 9.371; PT1 = 4.286 ± 11.977; PT2 = 6.877 ± 12.631 N) and power (CON = .887 ± 2.629; PT1 = .385 ± 3.420; PT2 = 1.712 ± 2.073) mirrored jump height.

DISCUSSION

Despite the lack of statistical significance for any of the outcome variables across the three different conditions, the noticeable trend of PT2 resulting in a higher jump height, greater force production, and more power output following a two-mile treadmill bout may yield some practical significance. While jump height is relatively unchanged in CON following the treadmill bout and power and force improve, PT2 resulted in better results post-treadmill, with values increasing for all three variables on the second set of jumps. This could indicate that the use of two Panther Teeth devices may help mitigate footwear-related performance variables following exercise and be more effective at minimizing energy leakage. Exploring the use of PT2 compared to CON in more dynamic settings has merit.

The consistent decline in jump height, force production, and power output in PT1 was interesting. While the force plates used in the study and assessment methodology were not precise enough to elucidate what may have caused the consistent decline in PT1 compared to CON and PT2, it can be speculated that a relatively uneven distribution of lace tension may have been the cause. The PT2 configuration allowed for lace tension to be maintained in both the middle and top portion of the laces, while PT1 only secured the laces in one location. The lack of tension maintenance in a second location may have led to an uneven fit following the two-mile treadmill bout, resulting in the decline seen in all three variables for PT1 due to excessive energy leakage. The relative maintenance of performance in CON compared to PT1 is also interesting, and it may be attributed to the novelty of the devices. During CON, subjects tied their shoes as they normally would, and while they were provided similar instructions with PT1, there is a chance some tension was lost when configuring the laces to accommodate the device.

For tasks that involve jumping and cutting maneuvers over a period of time, there may be some value in incorporating PT2 into footwear lacing patterns. Although not supported by a statistically significant difference, the average increase in jump height of more than a quarter-of-an-inch may indicate a benefit that can be provided in practical applications.

SUMMARY

Maintenance of lace tension throughout an activity may help mitigate performance declines related to the foot-shoe interaction’s role in energy leakage. During the course of physical activity, laces can become loose, affecting the security of the foot in the shoe. This reduction of secure positioning can result in delayed force production and power development during explosive tasks, such as jumping. Our use of a two-mile treadmill bout may have served more as an extended warm-up, as force production and power output were higher in the jumps following the treadmill bout for all three conditions. When compared to CON, the PT2 condition saw noticeably higher values for jump height, force production and power output, whereas PT1 was lower than CON for all three variables.

Changes in jump height were positive only during PT2. While it can be easily thought that PT2 may result in a performance benefit, the more appropriate interpretation may be that PT2 yield a more consistent lace tension over the course of the two-mile treadmill bout. Force production and power output went up in all three conditions, with PT2 yielding the greatest increase post-treadmill. So, if the idea that the repetitive motion and impacts during a gait cycle would lower the tension in the laces, increase the risk of energy leakage, and subsequently compromise the foot-shoe interaction is true, an argument can be made that the maintenance of lace tension with PT2 helped mitigate the declines that would result from a lessening of lace tension.

There is potential for Panther Teeth devices to provide a practical aid in a performance setting when used in a PT2 arrangement. Although there is a lack of statistical evidence, the trends in the data from this study merit further investigation and use in more dynamic environments. 

Figure 1. Shoes using the Narrow Panther Teeth configuration with a single device per shoe (PT1)

Figure 2. Shoes using the High Arches Panther Teeth configuration with two devices per shoe (PT2)

Figure 3. Change in countermovement jump height (inches) following a two-mile treadmill bout across the three test conditions

Figure 4. Change in force production (N) during a countermovement jump following a two-mile treadmill bout across the three test conditions

Figure 5. Change in power production (W) during a countermovement jump following a two-mile treadmill bout across the three test conditions